Donald Trump warned by NATO chief against 'going it alone'

Updated: Nov 14, 2016, 09:00 IST | Agencies

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg yesterday warned Donald Trump that “going it alone” is not an option for Europe or America, amid concerns over the president-elect’s position on the US-led military alliance

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg penned an editorial directed at TrumpNATO chief Jens Stoltenberg penned an editorial directed at Trump

London: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg yesterday warned Donald Trump that “going it alone” is not an option for Europe or America, amid concerns over the president-elect’s position on the US-led military alliance.

In an article in Britain’s Observer, days after Trump’s US election win, Stoltenberg said, “We face the greatest challenges to our security in a generation,” while conceding that Trump had a point about the need for some members to make a bigger financial contribution, as the US currently accounted for almost 70 per cent of NATO spending. But he added that American leaders had always recognised that they had a profound strategic interest in a stable and secure Europe.

During his election campaign, Trump described Western military alliance NATO as obsolete. He also suggested that the US would think twice about coming to the aid of any NATO ally under attack if it had not paid its dues.

“It is all too easy to take the freedoms, security and prosperity we enjoy for granted. In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership, and we need Europeans to shoulder their fair share of the burden,” the former Norwegian prime minister wrote.

“Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States. This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States.”

The 9/11 attack on the US, Stoltenberg pointed out, was the only time that NATO had invoked its self-defence clause, which requires all members to come to the aid of one that is attacked. “This was more than just a symbol. NATO went on to take charge of the operation in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of European soldiers have served in Afghanistan since. And more than 1,000 have paid the ultimate price in an operation that is a direct response to an attack against the US.”

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